A season ago, the Green Bay Packers biggest weakness was hands down their pass defense. They gave up an average of 269.2 passing yards per game, good for 31st in the NFL. A quick reminder, there are 32 teams in the NFL. The only team worse than the boys in green and gold were the New Orleans Saints. As a result, the Pack made the secondary a primary focus in this year’s draft. With the 33rd overall pick, which was the first pick of the second round, the team selected cornerback Kevin King out of Washington with their first selection. They followed that up with safety Josh James from N.C. State later that round.
But of the two, King is certainly set for a very prominent role in this upcoming season. He is set to be a key reason for turning this unit, which injuries decimated a season ago, around.
King stands at 6-3 and weighs in at 200 pounds. At the combine, he ran a 4.43 40 yard dash. He provides the athletic ability the team is desperately lacking. With the release of Sam Shields, who was a cornerstone player for the Green Bay Packers since 2010, the club is need of someone with King’s ability.
For the last two years at Washington, he was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 pick at the position. Over the course of the last two seasons, he recorded 18 pass break ups, 13 of which came last year. In that two year span, he also had five interceptions.
He mainly relies on his size and instincts to help him disrupt receivers. He is good at giving receivers a very small window to make a reception and is a true challenge when it comes to the jump balls. There is no simple lop pass over his head, as he will contend for virtually every pass.
His aggression and strong hands will also be true assets as he begins his NFL journey. So if he came prove some doubters wrong in terms of his speed and ability with his feet, Kevin King is certainly in line for a strong career. And it just so happens that he will get thrown right into the fire to see how he does.
King is going to be looked upon as the number one man for this unit on the outside. Devon House is a nice player, but he does not have the same upside that King does. While Quinten Rollins and Damarious Randall work their way back into the mix after missing some action a season ago thanks to injuries, it will be King who cements himself as the Pack’s number one corner.
When your team ranks as poorly as the Green Bay Packers did a year ago in pass defense, finding the right player in the draft is key. Ted Thompson is putting his faith in Kevin King as the club’s top draftee this season. And my gut tells me he won’t let the general manager, and the team’s fans, down.
Editor’s Note: This article can also be seen in our upcoming NFL Preview Edition.